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Clément Douillet and the Psytrance culture.

Updated: May 1, 2020

(Above) Model decorated with futuristic inspired florescent paint and accessories poses for a portrait before her performance in a psytrance festival.The psytrance scene is based on imaginary worlds: whether in artwork, music, posters, costumes, fantasy universes are often depicted. This imaginary seems to be created as an attempt to escape from reality. As if offering the possibility of temporarily deconstructing a definition of the known, of the real, creates a kind of outlet for societal norms.

(Above) Costumed festival-goer poses in a photo studio installed in a psytrance festival. The misappropriation of Native American culture is a phenomenon visible in the psychedelic scene. One expression of this cultural pastiche is costumes and accessories worn by festival-goers: warbonnets, fringed tunics, dream-catchers, “Indian” paintings, etc. As an explanation behind this "ethno-fashion" is the fantasized “spiritual purity” that Native American cultures embody in western societies' imagination.

(Above) Tattooed festival-goer poses shirtless in a photo studio set up in a psytrance festival. Beyond its decorative aspect, a tattoo is often a form of expression, which can relay personal but also political or societal messages. Sometimes the underground and psychedelic scenes convey representations of apocalyptic universes. Some may see a modern society in crisis, punished for its excessive use of technology.

(Above) Festival-goers enjoys a "slip n'slide" race in a psytrance festival. A company of clowns sets up animations throughout the festival, in which festival-goers are encouraged to participate. This girl is the undisputed champion in this "slip n'slide" race. Her body is completely covered in plastic, she goes faster than all the participants who challenged her.

(Above) Artist juggles with fire sticks during a performance at a psytrance festival. This fire performance company is accustomed to decorating itself with tribal-inspired body paintings for the shows. "Tribalism" constitutes a large part of the fantasy world of psytrance: it refers to a world of collective practices, social rites, return to nature, etc.


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